The Need To Be Useful (Part 1)

“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.'”  (Matthew 25:21)

We need to feel like we have a purpose while we are here on earth.  Everyone has the need to know why they are here and to have a contribution to life around us.  It gives our life meaning and fulfillment and even contributes to our happiness.  Even people who are incapacitated by illness or physical limitations need to feel useful and of value, like they are not just a burden to God and man.  But you may ask, “What could I possibly have to offer anyone?  I can barely make it through a day.”

Absolutely every Christian can be of value to God on this earth, as long as they are conscious and alive.  If you are a Christian, you should be doing something on this earth to serve God in some way.  In the next few entries, we will explore ways you can be useful to God, even with your limitations.  Let me start off with some encouraging and inspiring stories of some great Christians who even through tremendous disadvantages were fruitful for God.

Susannah Spurgeon was one of these Christians.  She was the wife of Charles Spurgeon, who was a preacher in England in the 1800s and referred to by many as the “Prince of Preachers.”  He was a great man of God, and his writings are still used today.  But by the age of 33, Susannah suffered from ill health and was bed-ridden a great deal of her time.  She had twin boys, who she raised to be Godly men who later both became preachers, which in itself is a great accomplishment for the Lord.  If you have children, raising godly Children should be your primary goal.  They are watching everything you do, how you handle situations and your relationship with God.  You are their prime example of what a Christian should be, and you should take that role seriously.  Don’t leave that responsibility up to the church.  If you accomplish nothing else for the Lord than producing Godly children who grow up to serve Him, you have success in your Christian life.

But Susannah did more than just produce Godly children.  Even though she was quite ill, God gave her a burden to get theological books into the hands of ministers all across England.  During that time period, ministers were hardly paid enough to live on, and they certainly did not have extra money to buy books to help them in their ministries.  So Susannah saved as much money as she could and supplied books for those poor preachers.  Through her book fund, she distributed over 200,000 books.  Even after she died, in her will she designated some money for the furthering of her book fund.

She also was a gifted writer and wrote several books and devotionals.  One of her best known books was entitled, “A Cluster of Camphire or Words of Cheer and Comfort for Sick and Sorrowful Souls.”  It is said that she did become discouraged by her illness, but later wrote, “the moment we come into any trial or difficulty, our first thought should be, not how soon can we escape from it, or how we may lessen the pain we shall suffer from it, but how can we best glorify God in it.”  (1)  That is a statement from a woman who matured in her Christian life and used her disadvantage to God’s best advantage.

From her sick bed, Susannah worked for the Lord, corresponding with pastors, encouraging her husband and writing.  Charles later wrote in his autobiography, “Our gracious Lord has ministered to His suffering child in the most effectual manner when He graciously led her to minister to the necessities of His servants…Let every believer accept this as the inference of experience: that for most human maladies, the best relief and antidote will be found in the self-sacrificing work for the Lord Jesus.” (2)

(1)Spurgeon, Susannah, “Morning Devotions” included in the book “Free Grace and Dying Love, Banner of Truth,” 2006, pg. 83.

(2) Harrald, Joseph and Spurgeon, Susannah, “The Autobiography of Charles Spurgeon,” Vol. 2, Banner of Truth, 1962, pg. 462.

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